Mark B. Borg, Jr, Ph.D., Grant H. Brenner, MD, & Daniel Berry, RN, MHA

Mark B. Borg, Jr, PhD, is a community psychologist and psychoanalyst, founding partner of The Community Consulting Group, and a supervisor of psychotherapy at the William Alanson White Institute. He has written extensively about the intersection of psychoanalysis and community crisis intervention. He is in private practice in New York City. Dr. Borg attended graduate school at the California School of Professional Psychology, where he earned both his MA and PhD in a dual-track program in clinical and community psychology. While there, Dr. Borg served on a four-year community empowerment project that was developed in South Central Los Angeles in the wake of the 1992 riots. Also at that time, he conducted individual and group psychotherapy at the AIDS Services Foundation in Orange County, California.

Grant Hilary Brenner, MD, FAPA is a psychiatrist and an expert on mental health, relationships, and self-care and wellness who has been featured on CBS Radio, NPR, and more. Dr. Brenner brings nearly two decades of consultation, workshops, speaking engagements, therapy, and coaching to his clients, who range from individuals seeking to overcome emotional obstacles and build resilience to executives seeking to optimize their performance in the workplace. He writes Psychology Today’s popular “ExperiMentations” blog and he is the co-author of Relationship Sanity: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Relationships and Irrelationship: How We Use Dysfunctional Relationships to Hide from Intimacy and an author and editor of the book Creating Spiritual and Psychological Resilience: Integrating Care in Disaster Relief Work. He is a 2004 recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation for his disaster mental health work in New York City following September 11th,  and he also received the Ivan Goldberg Distinguished Service Award for his efforts to bring mental health awareness to a wider and more diverse audience. He is co-founder of Neighborhood Psychiatric Associates of Manhattan and serves on the faculty of the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital and on the Board of Directors of Vibrant Emotional Health (formerly MHA-NYC).

Daniel Berry, RN, MHA, has practiced as a Registered Nurse in New York City since 1987. Working in in-patient, home care and community settings, his work has taken him into some of the city's most privileged households as well as some of its most underprivileged housing projects. He is currently the Assistant Director of Nursing for Risk Management at a public hospital serving homeless and undocumented victims of street violence, drug addiction and severe traumatic injuries. He is also an honorary nurse consultant to a United Nations-certified NGO based in Afghanistan.

Author of

Irrelationship

An irrelationship is a shared, co-created, psychological defense system; it is a defense against the fear and anxiety that come along with allowing another person to matter. Irrelationship is a way of protecting those within it from the messy business of really relating, because while intimate connections promise caring, compassion, and empathy, they also require emotional investment and risk. Irrelationship is not a syndrome, an illness, or a pathology. It is a way of being in relationship, a dynamic—something partners do together.

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Author of

Relationship Sanity

Relationship sanity is a balance in giving and receiving—reciprocity, mutuality, and alliance in action—and is created by experiencing oneself as loving and loveable. The insane part comes in when we invest ourselves in relationships that allow us to feel neither loved nor loveable, implicitly cut off from this feeling by a usually less-than-conscious blockage in the flow of giving and taking. While not appearing as floridly insane in most cases, irrelationship—not only the opposite of relationship sanity, but a powerful defense against it—is the imbalance a couple creates together that deliberately excludes space for the open-hearted, reciprocal exchange of love characteristic of relationship sanity. Simply put, relationship sanity is a balance of giving and receiving in any relationship that has the potential for intimacy, empathy, vulnerability, and emotional investment. 

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